Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PCiPhone

The legendary Capcom fighting series returns.

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9Out of 10
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Ryu and co are back in the first proper Street Fighter sequel in nearly 12 years.
Ryu and co are back in the first proper Street Fighter sequel in nearly 12 years.

Ryu and co are back in the first proper Street Fighter sequel in nearly 12 years.

It's been just under 12 years since the last proper Street Fighter sequel. That game was 1997's Street Fighter III: New Generation. Now, that long wait is over. Now, Street Fighter IV is upon us.

To look back at Street Fighter III and ask what's new seems pointless, not only because it came out so long ago, but because there have been so many iterations of the series since: 2nd Impact: Giant Attack, 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future, Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Capcom vs. SNK, Capcom vs. SNK 2... For those oblivious to the passionate tournament scene it's all a bit... confusing. Indeed, comparisons with a single Street Fighter game are equally pointless. Instead, Street Fighter IV is best compared with all of them.

That's because it feels more like a Street Fighter: Greatest Hits game than Street Fighter IV perhaps should. Yes, it is based on the superb Super Street Fighter II Turbo engine, but elements from the EX, Alpha and III series are felt strongly. Bar the intriguing Revenge Gauge and the innovative Focus Attack, Street Fighter IV is a markedly conservative effort.

Which is the point, if you're Capcom. Its goal with Street Fighter IV is not to rewrite the fighting game rulebook, or to appeal to the fighting game hardcore exclusively, but to somehow bring back to the fold a decent swath of those millions of people who played Street Fighter II when it was the biggest game on the planet. Street Fighter II down your local arcade. Street Fighter II on the SNES or Mega Drive. Even Super Street Fighter II, and, at a stretch, Super Street Fighter II Turbo.

If you played any of those games about the time they came out Street Fighter IV will feel like a "next-gen" drenched trip down memory lane. For the first hour or two of play IV feels remarkably similar to II. All eight original World Warriors make an appearance: Fireball and dragon punch stalwarts Ryu and Ken, giant Russian wrestler Zangief, Ghandi-esque Indian Dhalsim, queen of the thigh Chun-Li, electrocuting half animal Blanka, sumo wrestler E. Honda and the sonic booming American Guile. Add to the mix the four original Street Fighter II bosses, Balrog, Vega, Sagat and M. Bison, and you've got a virtual Street Fighter reunion.

Street Fighter IV sees the return of many familiar faces

Street Fighter IV sees the return of many familiar faces

A quarter circle forward and punch for a fireball, forward down forward for a dragon punch, charge down then up and kick for Guile's flash kick or Chun-Li's spinning bird kick, 360 degrees and a punch for Zangief's spinning pile driver, mash the punches for Blanka's electrocution or Honda's hundred hand slap - all the iconic moves and motions remain. If you could do them back in the day, then the knowledge will come flooding back and your thumbs will magically begin to bust them out. This is a special feeling indeed. A bit like riding a bike after a 12 year break.

If you've kept up with the series, however, pumped hour after hour into Street Fighter game after Street Fighter game down the years, mastered parries, cancelling, cross ups and reversals, then your first hour or two with IV won't feel familiar, it'll feel... weird. It's about the slowest version of Street Fighter since II. So slow is the speed of that game that, if you've played the recently released download only Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, it will at first feel like you're asking oil rigs to Hadouken, not muscle-bound martial artists. The wonderfully expressive character models, animated in 3D, are sluggish, and this has a massive bearing on the kind of 2D fighter IV is.

This is a deliberate move on Capcom's part, one intended to make the game less about insane quick reactions and more about anticipation and strategy, an admirable philosophy. The upshot is that IV has a grounded feel, almost like boxing. Rounds last much longer than fans will be used to. Jumping in is usually ineffective, since your opponent has plenty of time to react with an anti-air move. Instead, it's best to focus on well-timed ground attacks, think more thoroughly about analysing your opponent's game and utilise the brilliant new Focus Attack.

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User Comments

gomo's Avatar

gomo

why is the "genre" for this "beat 'em up"?... this and a lot of other games you have labled as "beat 'em up" should be under "fighting game"... beat 'em up's are games like Final Fight. I know some people like to mush up the two terms, but they describe 2 pretty distinct types of game...
Posted 19:16 on 13 July 2009
Ogre's Avatar

Ogre

Still waiting for the PC version...
Nice review though :)
Posted 23:12 on 12 March 2009
teemoe's Avatar
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teemoe

Get ready 4 my online azzwhoopnz!
Posted 21:33 on 01 March 2009
John's Avatar
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John

I'm in agreement that the cut-scenes are so insulting and horrible that you will wish you had never seen them. I know my soul died a little after each video.

The Boss is poorly made.. especially considering that even the goofy diaper-wearing boss in SF3 was at least creatively different (with the fire and ice sides) and wasn't ripping off other character's moves (usually reserved for a generic mimic character)

I don't think Viper looks ridiculous, but Rufus does though... I find him to be the worst designed SF character (biker mustache.. braided hawk... an unzipped jumpsuit WITH A HAPPY TRAIL!?) with El Fuerte's backstory the most retarded. (fighting to find the perfect recipe? WTF?)... with some character's like Rose showing up when far superior characters like Ibuki don't make the cut :(

I find the Ultra Combo's flawed in that some characters have ones that don't stick and others have ones that pull you in making them nearly unavoidable... and the damage they do is simply ludicrous. Ludicrous.

Those are my major complaints next to everyone only picking Ryu, Akuma and Ken online.. it gets old FAST.
Posted 12:56 on 19 February 2009
Ginger_Jesus's Avatar

Ginger_Jesus

Ok now I'm getting this for sure. Excellent review.
Posted 22:28 on 16 February 2009
rico_rico's Avatar

rico_rico

i score it 8/10 because it's boring
Posted 18:05 on 16 February 2009
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Yea, you're right about the bosses, i just wish the trend will end some day.

[fanboy mode]Terry Bogartwould own Ken lolololololol[/fan boy mode]
Posted 16:36 on 16 February 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

I don't think I have ever seen a fighter get a 10 from a non-official source. 9 will do! Great review, although I wouldn't knock marks off for the final boss. If that was the case, then DOA4 would be a 2/10!
Posted 16:14 on 16 February 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer

videogamer's top 10 most anticipated 2009
10. diablo 3
9. street fighter iv
8. resident evil 5
7. half life episode 3
6. halo 3 odst
5. cod mw 2
4. pes 2010
3. bioshock 2
2. god of war 3
1. heavy rain
Now first game of this list has arrived and it has got a 9 not a 10!
This review is nice and i'll be picking this one on ps3 but i'll also keep an eye on the pc version coming later. But the question is this- Which will be the first 10/10 of 2009. as most of the most anticipated games are due near christmas. it could be resident evil 5(my guess)
Posted 15:41 on 16 February 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

I'm just glad you played with the idea of a perfect score. I think whenever I see you on Live your on SFII on Arcade lol.

I applaud your loyalty to the brand and commend you upon probably the best and most critique review of this game on at least the net and more than likely the world. I will be buying this one for sure. A 100% real fan knowing about the genre their speaking about is a breath of fresh air.

It's reviews like the above that have kept me coming back for more at Videogamer and Pro-G before it. Thank You
Posted 14:58 on 16 February 2009
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100

@ Bloodstorm

Woah! SvC2 better than MvC2? We could argue for days on that one!

Every fighter having a cheap boss might be the case, but just because everyone does doesn't make it right. A bigger problem with Seth, though, is that he's a lazy character from Capcom's point of view. M. Bison wasn't lazy, and he was SFII's boss. I reviewed it on PS3 btw.

@ Karlius

I was debating whether to give it a 10, but in the end decided against it simply because of the flaws outlined in the article. On a personal front, I think the Super Turbo engine, and the 3rd Strike engine, are superior. But that's the hardcore fighter in me talking.
Posted 12:20 on 16 February 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Wes you let me down I thought as a supreme fan of the series you would have to give it full 10/10 marks and seen through any flaws with your rose tinted street fighter iv glasses on. : )
Posted 10:48 on 16 February 2009
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Quailty review shall have to pick it up when I have some left over lolly.
Posted 10:31 on 16 February 2009
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis

@ Corrupt0Killa-TomButters

It was bravo but close :)

Looking forward to playing this but I think £30 is alot for a fighter, I always wait for them to be around £15. It looks awesome though!
Posted 10:19 on 16 February 2009
Woolies Staff's Avatar
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Woolies Staff

I wish this week would get a move on.
Posted 10:19 on 16 February 2009

Game Stats

Street Fighter IV
9
Out of 10
Street Fighter IV
  • Focus Attack truly innovative
  • Online play solid
  • Based on the brilliant Super Turbo engine
  • Bare bones single-player
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 20/02/2009
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC , iPhone
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Beat 'em Up
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: BBFC 12
Site Rank: 1,378 171
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